joe root
On Friday, England Test team skipper Joe Root stepped down from the post following the poor run of his side in the longest format for quite some time now.

On Friday, England Test team skipper Joe Root stepped down from the post following the poor run of his side in the longest format for quite some time now. Having won just one of the last 17 Tests, the writing was on the wall for Root. Although he did perform well individually, his team failed to offer any sort of résistance. The batting, in particular, was a massive let down. 

Under the 31-year-old Root, England recently fell short in the Teat series versus West Indies, losing by a 1-0 margin after drawing the first two games. Prior to that, England were blown away by Australia in The Ashes, succumbing to a 0-4 defeat. England are also trailing India 2-1 in the five-Test series, with one game earlier getting postponed due to COVID-19. 

Altogether, England are placed bottom of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle, having won one, losing 7, and drawing 4 matches. It’s safe to say, England are virtually out of the WTC top 2 places. 

Root had replaced Alastair Cook in 2017 as England’s Test skipper. Since then, he enjoyed a good run individually and also helped his side script some notable wins. In this article, we analyse Root’s key numbers and records as captain.

Most successful England Test captain

Root captained the England cricket team in 64 Test matches. This is the highest number of games managed by an English cricketer as a captain in the longest format. Also, Root sealed 27 wins as captain, bettering the record of Michael Vaughan, who led England to 26 Test wins. In this run, Root also conceded 26 Tests as a skipper. He also earned 11 draws, registering a win percentage of 40.62.

5th-highest runs as captain

Root is the highest run-scorer as an English skipper in Tests. He piled the most number of runs (5,295) and struck most fifties (26) and hundreds (14). Overall, he is the 5th-highest scorer as captain. Root is only behind South African ace Graeme Smith (8,659), Australian stars Allan Border (6,623), Ricky Ponting (6,542), and former Indian skipper Virat Kohli (5,846) in terms of runs as captain.

Root’s Ashes records 

The stylish Root is ranked fourth among English captains with the most runs in Ashes history. Root has gone on to amass a total of 1,025 runs in 15 Test matches at an average of 36.60. The tally includes 12 fifties. Notably, Root is only behind the likes of Archie MacLaren (1,156), David Gower (1,115), and Peter May (1,091). During the course of his Ashes run, he also surpassed the likes of former England stars such as Michael Atherton (964), Graham Gooch (908), and Alastair Cook (853) in this regard. 

Root failed to win The Ashes as captain 

One thing Root failed to achieve this as that he never won an Ashes series as captain. Under his captaincy, England lost the 2017-18 Ashes series Down Under by a 4-0 margin. In that series, Root piled up 378 runs at an average of 47.25.

In the 2019 Ashes at home, England played well to lead a fightback and level the series 2-2. Ben Stokes was England’s hero. Root managed to amass 325 runs at 32.50. In the 2021-22 Ashes, Root had a similar run in England’s 4-0 drubbing Down Under once again. This time, Root scored only 322 runs at 32.20.

Some splendid batting records

Root has scored the most number of runs in the ongoing WTC 2021-23. He has piled up a staggering 1,175 runs and sits above second-placed Usman Khawaja of Australia, who has 751 runs so far. Root has managed to hit four fifties and five hundreds. He has the most tons by a player in WTC 2021-23. 

Interestingly, Root was the second-highest run-scorer in WTC 2019-21 (1,660). He was only behind Marnus Labuschagne. Root averaged 47.42 (three hundreds, eight fifties).

Root had a fabulous 2021

He started the year 2021 with a mind-boggling 228 against Sri Lanka. This is the highest score by an England batter in Sri Lanka. In 2021, Root hammered 1,708 runs in 15 Tests at an average of 61.00. His tally included six hundreds and four fifties. As per ESPNCricinfo, the 1,708 runs by Root are the most by an English player and third-most by any player in a calendar year.

He was also named the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year in 2021 for his superb run of form. 

As a captain, Root won his first Player of the Match award against Lanka in 2018. He had gone on to smash a match-winning 124 in Pallekele. Root also managed a splendid 226 versus New Zealand at Seddon Park in 2019. That was his second MoM award. In 2021, Root garnered four Player of the Match awards, showing his characteristics. Overall, he has gone on to achieve 12 Player of the Match awards to show one and all. 

Root’s overall stats

Root has made 117 Test appearances for England, scoring 9,889 runs at 49.20. He is nearing the 10,000-run mark in Tests. He can become only the second Englishman to amass this feat after Cook. Root has smashed 25 hundreds and 53 fifties. His centuries tally is the second-best after Cook, who piled up 33 tons. Notably, Root has notched five double hundreds.

At home, Root has slammed a total of 5,009 runs at 52.18. Playing away, he has scored 4,593 runs. And at neutral venues, he has scored 287 runs.

His highest total in Tests (254) came against Pakistan at Old Trafford in 2016. Root has also claimed 87 catches, which is the most by an English captain in Tests.

Root will continue to play Tests as England seek a new skipper. Being just 31, Root has a lot of cricket in store, and several records could be on the way. 

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